Introducing Melissa of MelfaceMish...
Tell us a bit about yourself and your channel.
My name’s Melissa and I’m a natural hair YouTuber from London/Essex. About four years ago I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair, not because of a catastrophic disaster from a relaxer, I was just sick and tired of how thin, lifeless and brittle my hair was. After about a week of staying up all night watching natural hair care tutorials like an addict, I was ready to take the plunge and thought I had swotted up enough to know all about how to care for my natural hair. How wrong I was! It took between 1-2 years to figure out how to style, manage and sometimes control my hair. So the videos I put out are to help others through the steep learning curve of the natural hair journey.
My channel consists of hair care regimes, different styles and product reviews. As I’m from the UK I try to use products that are easily available to us here, as the main market for natural hair care products are in America. I’d also want to move my YouTube channel onto all aspects of beauty including make-up, health and fashion.
When did you start your YouTube channel and what motivated you to start?
I started YouTube about 3 years ago which was one year into my natural hair journey. The reason being that as I started experimenting with different styles such as twist outs and bantu knots and finally getting to grips with them, more and more people seemed curious about my regime and tips - in real life and even more on social media such as Tumblr. So I thought “instead of trying to explain the difficult techniques, I’ll show you” and the first video was uploaded, although it is now long gone and deleted out of sheer embarrassment of my cringey-ness.
Natural hair is now a recognised and ever growing movement in the UK. I wanted to be able to provide videos and tips which could be used as a reference for people struggling to maintain or style their hair after making the switch to go natural. Comments that viewers have learnt a thing or two from watching, or that they’re pleased with the results after trying my techniques are always heart warming.
How has your channel evolved since you started?
My channel has gone through a couple changes. At first, my videos were of low quality using copyrighted music which all had to be deleted. At the time I felt that all my hard work had gone to waste. I remember fretting because I would lose my video which had 5000 views (which is the highest I had reached at the time), but was determined to make it work. So I put double the effort in, put out double the videos, increased the quality and now have videos reaching between 20,000 to 100,000 views.
My videos then became very inconsistent, I retreated away from YouTube and social media whilst dealing with anxiety and depression but, once again, I’m determined to make it work. I keep reminding myself if I can evolve my channel once then I can do it again. Recently my videos have been based around modelling shoots, done with up & coming photographers and hair stylists such as Shot By Jo & Thee Mulan, as I want to branch out into all aspects of beauty but I still have a lot of hair care ideas and videos to put out!
Where do you see yourself and your channel in five years’ time?
Hopefully it will be a vast array of all things beauty. I will always want to carry on putting out content about hair care for natural hair and think topics like make-up, health & fitness will be fun to get into. I also want to have a more relatable side to my channel and be able to open up and talk about topics such as positive thinking and mental health awareness.
Do you have any YouTubers' you admire and follow yourself?
Of course! Laila from FusionofCultures is a YouTuber whose videos I would watch non-stop before starting my natural hair journey, and after falling in love with her hair she inspired me to go natural. I also love Whitney from Naptural85.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into vlogging?
Self-promotion works wonders! Never be too shy to self-promote whether in real life or on social media. Speak up and let people who you think may enjoy your channel know that you put out content. Regularly repost links to your videos and send links of your work to your friends and family and then ask them to share it with their friends and family to gain maximum exposure.
Although this is very hypocritical of myself to say - be consistent! Whether uploading a vlog of your daily life or putting up topic related content, make sure you set yourself a schedule and stick to it.
What are your hopes for the Black British community of online creators?
I hope that it continues to grow and that we can help to inspire the people around us, and support those that come after us.